Jan 20, 2023 - News

Richmond returning to normal — at least with RVA 311 requests

Data: Data: City of Richmond; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Data: City of Richmond; Chart: Axios Visuals

Richmonders may well be on the road back to normalcy coming out of the pandemic — at least when it comes to 311 requests.

Why it matters: Inquiries for social services jumped 70% for Richmond’s 311 call center and website during the pandemic. While those requests still dominated last year, calls for other services saw a surge.

What's happening: RVA 311 saw 10,172 more calls in 2022 than the previous year. And the biggest increase by category came from the most mundane, non-pandemic things, according to RVA 311 data shared with Axios.

🅿️ Parking

Richmonders lodged 5,224 "requests" about parking tickets — a 95% increase from 2021.

  • Requests for the parking division to review citations, as in "the meter was broken," accounted for more than half of them, Peter Breil, RVA 311's director, tells Axios.
  • "Fun fact – photos are taken with every parking citation that is issued. Our agents can review the photos while discussing the ticket with the caller," he says.

🗑 New trash cans

Requests for new trash cans — whether for an extra one or because someone's was broken, stolen or fell in the truck — were up 14% year from year.

  • And the East End asked for the most of them.

🚗 Car tax

More than 10,000 Richmonders called about their vehicle personal property tax — a 9% increase from 2021.

  • Breil attributed the increase in calls to the surge in used car values and people buying and selling theirs.
  • "The bulk of the requests were related to vehicle disposals," he said.

🎨 Graffiti

Complaints about graffiti saw a comeback, too — and the city's 2nd District, which includes the Fan, Museum District and Scott's Addition — made nearly half of them.

  • Meanwhile, the city's 4th District, south of the river including tree-heavy Forest Hill and Stratford Hills, lodged 67% of leaf vacuum requests.

Yes, but: Richmonders — especially those in need — aren't out of the woods yet. Calls for social services, which includes questions about SNAP benefits and financial help with energy bills, still accounted for the largest share of 311 calls.

  • And the 6th and 7th districts — home to some of the lowest income Richmonders and the city's largest public housing communities — accounted for nearly half of all DSS requests last year.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Richmond.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Richmond stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Richmond.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more